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I'm a Minnesota Girl, living in the south. I tell my friends I try not to talk and think like a Yankee, but sometimes I slip up!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Going Up North

The area I was raised in, in Minnesota, is known as the Iron Range. The landscape had been decimated for 6 decades of open pit iron mining. Most of the work was done by European immigrants; clusters of Italians, Serbs, Swedes, Germans, Croatians.... all came, worked hard, kept their European customs. Blended into a generation like mine that had roots in two or three different European cultures.

The mines closed in the 80's when the steel industry failed.

The land went back to rural, a little touristy, some quiet lake living, fishing, hunting.

My brother, Denise and I went back to visit both sides of our family. Yes, to see my parents' graves, which I had not seen in two decades. To pass by the old school, the old homestead. On my mom's side, the visit was quiet. We stopped to see her sister, who is in a nursing home. She was well cared for, and I know she appreciated the visit. Another aunt and cousins on that side were not home as we stopped with short notice. On my dad's side, we went to my uncle's house, where one other member of his generation, my Auntie Kay, she of the amazing Italian food, joined us. And us cousins. Olders now, two daughters of the next generation stopped by, but we got together, members of three sons and one daughter's contributions to the family. It was a great day, full of jokes and reminiscing. Cousin Tom got away before we took family pictures, but here they are.

Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota

My dad built this house, Pengilly, MN. Such great memories.

All of the cousins that showed up, except for Tom, May 2010.

The whole gang with Auntie Kay and Uncle Virge


Kelly said...

You look so relaxes and happy!

Isn't family grand?!

Kelly said...

ooops. that should have read "relaxed"!!

Marion said...

Great photos! I'm so glad you had fun with your family. Blessings!

Pam said...

Love it! Love the photos and the memories you shared. You really do look relaxed.

Family, going back, revisiting memories of the past always gives me an emotional boost! :)

One of my brothers and I have been exchanging email memories from our shared past.(Most before you were born, Kel, and before our other brother was old enough to remember them). It's been fun.

Serena said...

Thanks for the peek inside your family ties and for sharing your photos. That was great!

Bob said...

What a great looking group! I love your travelogue . . . you might not be able to go home again, but you can sure visit and recall days gone by. I think it's therapeutic.

Don't know if you're much of a country music fan, but there's a great tune out right now by Miranda Lambert called "The House That Built Me." I really evokes thoughts of home, no matter where home might be. Should I ever figure out how to post songs/videos, I'll put it up.